saying he drew his brazen faulchion keen
Of double edge, and with a dreadful cry
Sprang on him; but Ulysses with a shaft
In that same moment through his bosom driv’n
Transfix’d his liver, and down dropp’d his sword.
He, staggering around his table, fell
Convolv’d in agonies, and overturn’d
Both food and wine; his forehead smote the floor;
Woe fill’d his heart, and spurning with his heels
His vacant seat, he shook it till he died.
Then, with his faulchion drawn, Amphinomus
Advanced to drive Ulysses from the door,
And fierce was his assault; but, from behind,
Telemachus between his shoulders fix’d
A brazen lance, and urged it through his breast.
Full on his front, with hideous sound, he fell.
Leaving the weapon planted in his spine
Back flew Telemachus, lest, had he stood
Drawing it forth, some enemy, perchance,
Should either pierce him with a sudden thrust
Oblique, or hew him with a downright edge.
Swift, therefore, to his father’s side he ran,
Whom reaching, in wing’d accents thus he said.

   My father! I will now bring thee a shield,
An helmet, and two spears; I will enclose
Myself in armour also, and will give
Both to the herdsmen and Eumus arms
Expedient now, and needful for us all.

   To whom Ulysses ever-wise, replied.
Run; fetch them, while I yet have arrows left,
Lest, single, I be justled from the door.

   He said, and, at his word, forth went the Prince,
Seeking the chamber where he had secured
The armour. Thence he took four shields, eight spears,
With four hair-crested helmets, charged with which
He hasted to his father’s side again,
And, arming first himself, furnish’d with arms
His two attendants. Then, all clad alike
In splendid brass, beside the dauntless Chief
Ulysses, his auxiliars firm they stood.
He, while a single arrow unemploy’d
Lay at his foot, right-aiming, ever pierced
Some suitor through, and heaps on heaps they fell.
But when his arrows fail’d the royal Chief,
His bow reclining at the portal’s side
Against the palace- wall, he slung, himself,
A four-fold buckler on his arm, he fix’d
A casque whose crest wav’d awful o’er his brows
On his illustrious head, and fill’d his gripe
With two stout spears, well-headed, both, with brass.

   There was a certain postern in the wall
At the gate-side, the customary pass
Into a narrow street, but barr’d secure.
Ulysses bade his faithful swine-herd watch
That egress, station’d near it, for it own’d
One sole approach; then Agelaü loud
Exhorting all the suitors, thus exclaim’d.

   Oh friends, will none, ascending to the door
Of yonder postern, summon to our aid
The populace, and spread a wide alarm?
So shall this archer soon have shot his last.

   To whom the keeper of the goats replied
Melanthius. Agelaüs! Prince renown’d!
That may not be. The postern and the gate
Neighbour too near each other, and to force
The narrow egress were a vain attempt;
One valiant man might thence repulse us all.
But come—myself will furnish you with arms
Fetch’d from above; for there, as I suppose,
(And not elsewhere) Ulysses and his son
Have hidden them, and there they shall be found.

   So spake Melanthius, and, ascending, sought
Ulysses’ chambers through the winding stairs
And gall’ries of the house. Twelve bucklers thence
He took, as many spears, and helmets bright
As many, shagg’d with hair, then swift return’d
And gave them to his friends. Trembled the heart
Of brave Ulysses, and his knees, at sight
of his opposers putting armour on,
And shaking each his spear; arduous indeed
Now seem’d his task, and in wing’d accents brief
Thus to his son Telemachus he spake.

   Either some woman of our train contrives
Hard battle for us, furnishing with arms
The suitors, or Melanthius arms them all.

   Him answer’d then Telemachus discrete.
Father, this fault was mine, and be it charged
On none beside; I left the chamber-door
Unbarr’d, which, more attentive than myself,
Their spy perceived. But haste, Eumus, shut
The chamber-door, observing well, the while,
If any women of our train have done
This deed, or whether, as I more suspect,
Melanthius, Dolius’ son, have giv’n them arms.

   Thus mutual they conferr’d; meantime, again
Melanthius to the chamber flew in quest
Of other arms. Eumus, as he went,
Mark’d him, and to Ulysses’ thus he spake.


  By PanEris using Melati.

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